The use of age

By: Madrileña de la Cerna November 25,2018 - 12:52 AM

DELA CERNA

The range of violence against women is mind-boggling for it involves babies to the elderly as victims.

There is a popular Cebuano expression “Tawga lang kong kawatan, ayaw lang tiguwang” (Just call me a thief but not old) which is both humorous and serious.

Someone took this seriously and when he called an old woman “kawatan” it brought trouble to both of them.

I remember during my first years of teaching, the oldest teacher in school and my former teacher in industrial arts who became my co-teacher was complaining about the behavior of students.

Another teacher advised her not to nag about it because we are already old. She blurted out “I’m not old!” We were speechless and amused.

This gave rise to another expression “Pugong sa edad” (To defy age) which is manifested in many ways through technology and alternative lifestyle.

Also in gatherings or any activity when there’s the call for a particular order or arrangement there’s “age before beauty” as tip.

The most welcome compliment is “you have not aged.”

Westerners envy the women in Asia because they do not age.

Sometime in the 1990s a British feminist came to launch her book on women and after the session in the afternoon she couldn’t help declare “look at you Asian women, you still look fresh even at the end of the day.”

A few years back, Sofie and I attended a forum at the social hall of the Provincial Capitol.

The forum ended at 7 p.m. so we rushed to the front part of the Capitol and hailed a taxi at a corner before the loading area for PUJs.

We signaled the driver to turn right to avoid the policewoman who was directing the traffic.

He drove straight instead and we boarded the taxi.

Then the policewoman approached and before she could say anything the driver told her “Sorry, kay ang akong mga pasahero mga tiguwang.” (Sorry, my passengers are old.)

Then the policewoman said, “Unya ma’am, mosugot mo ana ma’am nga gitawag mong tiguwang?” (Ma’am, do you accept that you are called old?).

I answered, “Di ko masuko kon tawagon kog tiguwang pero ang makalagot mao nga gamiton ang edad aron paglapas sa balaod.” (I won’t mind being called old but what irks me is to use age to violate the law.)

The policewoman just smiled and the driver was quiet the whole trip.

At present, prominent aging personalities convicted of crimes seem difficult to arrest because “we have to consider their age” according to law enforcers.

If I remember right, many former Nazi officers were convicted and jailed even if most of them were in their 80’s and 90’s.
* * *
Today is the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of Carcar and the name of the school that prepared me for life, St. Catherine’s School.

St. Catherine was martyred at a very young age and it is by coincidence that every year women’s organizations all over the world launch the 18 Days campaign for anti-violence against women from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10 which is International Human Rights Day.

St. Catherine died a violent death for standing for her faith and principles. A learned woman, she is the patron saint of philosophers, orators, communicators.

She is the perfect model for young women.

The range of violence against women is mind-boggling for it involves babies to the elderly as victims.

Hence the campaign should be more aggressive, more creative.

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